Application containerization is not the future, it is here now and has become a significant trend in software application development. Gartner estimates that 75% of organizations will be running containerized applications in production by 2022 and that global container revenues will grow from $465.8 million in 2020 to $944 million in 2025. Some see containerization as the next major step in cloud technology.
Containerization is an approach to application development that entails bundling applications and their dependencies in software packages called containers. A still maturing technology, containerization helps you automate and update DevOps practices without giving up traceability, accountability, or security. So, if you have been reluctant to invest your organizationâ€™s time and money into containers, now is the time to do it.
Benefits of Application Containerization
Containers provide exceptional business value to more than justify your return on investment. In addition to simplifying application development and deployment, containers deliver critical business benefits, including:
- Reduced capital budgets
- Increased operational simplicity and flexibility
- Enhanced developer productivity and efficiency
- Lowered infrastructure licensing/vendor costs
- Improved security and scalability
- Build it once, run it anywhere
- Effective isolation and resource sharing
- Decreased security risks
If you are struggling to manage applications across instances and you are continually battling migration issues, maintenance overhead, and missing dependencies, adopting a container-based strategy can help you standardize software development and become more responsive to user needs.
Containers also support a modernization mindset. For example, you can employ containers to migrate legacy applications into more modern Cloud environments, create and deploy new container-native applications, and make it easier to create new development, testing, and training environments. They also enable you to work on parallels streams. That, in turn. provides more time to focus on feature development.
Containerization, however, shouldnâ€™t be confused with virtualization. They differ in many ways. For example, with VMs, you can consolidate servers and workloads, support dozens of logical and virtual CPUs, and speed resource delivery through centralization and automation.
Containers, on the other hand, let you move apps from a developerâ€™s computer to a test environment or from a staging environment to deployment, provide DevOps support for continuous improvement and deployment (CI/CD), and enable easier implementation of repetitive jobs and tasks
Deploying Containerization: Four Best Practices
Containerization simplifies application development and deployment. But creating a container-based delivery strategy can be challenging. Below are critical best practices when creating a containerization strategy:Â
Â·Â Optimize CI/CD and DevOps First
Containerization is a game-changer for CI/CD and DevOps. But you need to automate as many processes as possible, including tests, releases, and configurable changes, to take full advantage of containerization. You will also need the right tools in place to do it. In other words, optimize CI/CD and DevOps before developing and deploying a containerization strategy.
Â·Â Build a strong business case for adoption
Building a strong business case creates support from leaders and operations team membersâ€”even if some see the move as cumbersome and complicated. Since containerization isnâ€™t new, make sure your business case explains why itâ€™s an excellent time to implement containers. Create a case also thatâ€™s simple and straightforward enough to convince senior leaders to jump on board.
Â·Â Embed security throughout the DevOps process
Security is a critical priority with containers. But a traditional approach to securityâ€”no matter how matureâ€”may not cut it. Sure, CI/CD tools will provide security options out-of-the-box. But you may still need to do more. Â In other words, you may need to create a company-wide security culture that encourages security automation
Also, follow CIS benchmarks, ensure proper access controls, and protect sensitive information with third-party encryption services. Be especially concerned with the host kernel/OS. If thereâ€™s a vulnerability there, it could impact all your containers.Â
Â·Â Go granular with monitoring
Taking the traditional host-centric monitoring approach isnâ€™t enough with containerization. Monitoring just for things like CPU utilization, latency, and network bandwidth wonâ€™t get it done. You still need to do functional monitoring.
Also, look for real-time monitoring tools that reflect service application, offer deeper integration into container orchestration, and provide actionable outputs. Developing resources and full metric pipelines will provide the data you need to assess container health.
The Bottom Line on Containerization
Containerization has become a significant trend in software application developmentâ€”and with good reason. It delivers the kinds of measurable benefits for developers, operations teams, and IT infrastructures that can help you generate a competitive edge. Put simply, containerization helps you develop and deploy software applications faster and more securely. Plus, it supports a modernization mindset that can drive your organization forward.
Migrating to a container-based strategy, however, isnâ€™t just a technical decision. Itâ€™s also an operational and culture shift. So, deploying this type of delivery strategy will be challenging Implementing the best practices discussed above can help you beat this challenge. From reducing capital spending to improving agility, the results containers deliver will easily justify the investment of time and money. Thereâ€™s never been a better time to do it than now.
CherryRoadâ€™s highly skilled and engaged people have decades of experience helping clients like you beat their application development challenges. To learn more about CherryRoad applications development services, mail us at email@example.com.